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Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
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Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat

Family tells of frustrations

By Niccola Hazelman-Siona

Family tells of frustrations Rainy days are days of gloom for many residents of Fugalei. But no one hates it more than Fa’aumumu and Peta Poleka,who live in the reclaimed area.Every time it rains,the Polekas constantly wonder what will end in their house.

Some days, dead carcasses come with the flooding. Over the years, they’ve seen the problem deteriorate to the point they have had enough.

While Mr. Poleka tries to clean the drains every time it rains, the extent of the problem is driving him insane. “During times of heavy rain it is horrible, when the water rises in the drains the rubbish rises along with it.” Mrs. Poleka has lived on the land for over 30 years.

She grew up there with her parents and after they passed away, she has continued to stay there with her children and some relatives.
The Fugalei area was once a mangrove swamp and has since been reclaimed and with residents and businesses growing in the area, drainage has become a major problem.

“There is just nowhere for the water to go and with people throwing rubbish into the drains it blocks the water ways causing flooding.”
The drains at Fugalei are supposed to connect to the Vaimoso River and from there it flows to Sogi.

But the problem, says Mrs. Poleka, is that the water is not moving anywhere. She blames the poor design of the drainage system.
“When I was growing up, there was a drain but is was never this bad. When the government re-fixed the drains the problems began.

“It’s fine when there is no rain but when it does rain it gets so bad that the water an

d rubbish comes into our houses.
“Some days, we find dead animal carcasses in the water, not only does it smell bad but it causes so many other health problems.

“My daughters are not allowed outside at all when it rains. I’m worried about the mosquitos and other infections they might pick up.
Mrs. Poleka says residents are responsible for cleaning the drains and in return they are paid by the government.

“We clear the rubbish and the drains and the people from environment come by to collect the rubbish. “We are paid $600 a month to do this, I don’t think it is enough considering what we have to deal with. My family is at the center of where the drains are, we should be compensated more.

“They (MNRE) know that when it rains the rubbish is constant and so we clear the drains every day, sometimes twice a day, we pile the rubbish on the side for them to collect but sometimes they never do.”

Mrs. Poleka also blames the residents for the drainage problems. “People just don’t know how to be clean and how to look after their surroundings, this is where they live yet they throw rubbish around which in the end comes back into their houses and then they complain.

“Hygiene and cleanliness is what people should focus on especially for us so close to drainage systems.”
Mrs. Poleka also thinks the Government should take another look at the drainage system because she thinks the problem is getting worse.

“It’s unhealthy and there are over 30 families living in this area, the drains need to be done properly.
“We are lucky we are quite high up but our neighbours, the water just goes in and messes up everything."

Mrs. Poleka says relocating is not an option because where they live is closer to schools and hospitals.
“We have land and family at Solosolo where our plantation is.

"We choose to live here because it makes access easier for us, the girls are closer to school and hospitals and other places, I grew up here.”
Mrs. Poleka wants the drains fixed so they don’t have to suffer during the rainy season.

 

 

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